In this week’s Princh Library Blog, recurring guest writer Nina Grant suggests some creative and simple ways to implement some exercises into a librarian’s everyday work to improve their health, wellbeing and performance. Enjoy!

Library workers often spend a significant portion of their day anchored to their chairs, handling tasks like cataloging books, assisting patrons, or updating digital resources. And while many librarians love their job and enjoy their daily tasks, there’s a downside to this profession: prolonged sitting. Sitting for hours on end can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses, which can easily sneak up on you if you’re not careful.

Creative Ways to Squeeze in Exercise

The good news is, all you need is a few minutes of some kind of moment to offset the negative impact of a sedentary job.

Book Cart Lunges

Why just push the book cart when you can make it a workout? Perform lunges as you push the cart down the aisles. Step one foot forward, bend and lower your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle, then push the cart forward as you stand back up. Repeat this as you go. According to Harvard Medical School, integrating such functional movements can help improve your cardiovascular health and muscle tone. Plus, it’s a creative way to stay active without stepping away from work. This multitasking exercise strengthens your legs and helps keep your energy levels up.

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Storytime Stretches

If you oversee reading sessions or storytime, make the most of it. Incorporate light stretches into the storytelling. While standing, stretch your arms to the side, twist your torso gently, or rise onto your tiptoes and lower yourself back down. A Mayo Clinic report advises these stretches to increase blood flow and reduce muscle stiffness. Doing this not only keeps you moving but also sets a good example for the kids to stay active. The incorporation of these stretches helps maintain flexibility and keeps you refreshed which is so important in this line of work.

Book Alphabet Workout

Turn organizing books into an exercise routine. Assign each letter of the alphabet a specific exercise, like A for arm circles, B for burpees, C for calf raises, and so on. Each time you place a book on the shelf, do the designated exercise for its starting letter. What’s also great is that this game-like routine keeps you entertained and active simultaneously.

A Boost in Job Performance

Sharp focus and mental clarity are very important for library workers because their job is all about details and helping people out. Whether you’re sorting books, managing digital files, or guiding someone to the right section, you need to be on your A-game. You can’t afford to mix up call numbers or give wrong info. Also, a clear mind helps you juggle multiple tasks, like organizing shelves and updating the catalog, without getting frazzled. What’s really great is that only about 30 minutes of some form of exercise can help you achieve mental clarity and contributes to being your most excellent self on the job.

However, if motivation is low, start small. Try some light stretches while you’re checking in books or take a quick walk around the library. The key is to keep moving, even if it’s just a little. But hey, if you’re having one of those really tough days when any form of exercise feels impossible, don’t stress. Everyone needs rest days. They let your body recover and repair, which helps prevent injuries and stops you from burning out. Plus, taking a break can make you come back feeling stronger and more pumped up. So, don’t sweat it if you skip a workout now and then. Just be honest with yourself about whether you’re genuinely tired or just feeling a bit lazy.

We will be back with another interesting article from the library world soon!

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Nina Grant

Nina is a passionate writer and editor who likes to cover a variety of topics.

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